Thursday, October 12, 2017

WBTS via Vassal - Weeks 73 to 76

Winter has arrived.

The Union supply is 131 carried forward, plus 180 production plus 34 liberated towns.  Total 345 for 20 Personnel Points.

The Confederate supply is 94 carried forward, 60 from major cities, 6 from import, and 58 from towns: total 213.  This has to last for 5 months when town supply will be zero.  They have 30 personnel points.

The Union augment two 3-3s and one 4-3 to 10-3s and convert a 3-2 to a 3-3.  That leaves 277 supply.

The Confederates raise 10 militia and 10 garrison.  This leaves 183 supply.

The Union deploy a supply train, railroad repair crew and a siege train to Washington. A 10,000 man strong division goes to Bowling Green along with a supply train.  There are 2,000 militia for deployment later.  In a severe blow, the Union fail to give Meade an army command (this same set back had happened to Grant eight weeks previously).  The ironclad in St Louis completes fitout and is ready for action.

The Confederates deploy a railroad repair crew and supply train to Richmond.  They have 5,000 militia to deploy later.  Their side is joined by Wheeler, a cavalry commander, and by Smith who is given command of the Army of North Virginia.  No partisans appear.  1,000 militia walk off the job in Florida.  The ironclad at New Orleans is still being painted.

You have to laugh with the availability of Army HQs.  The Union get one on a 1-4.  They desperately need one.  The Confederates get one on a 1-3 and have an embarrassment of generals but no troops.

Union supply consumption is 54 and 12 rail.  That leaves 224 and 22 rail.  The Union top up their departmental depots.

Confederate supply situation is precarious due to limited rail this time.  They use 26 supply and 10 rail.  They have no rail left and 2,000 troops desert due to lack of food.  They have 157 supply left, but no rail capacity.  Supply is water transported to Forrest on the Mississippi.  Supply is provided to the new supply train in Richmond.

As usual, the Union are able to raise Kentucky militia in Bowling Green and Missouri militia in St Louis.

Week 73

The Union get the 1 chit.

Buckner is told to take a 1,000 men back to Atlanta and take charge (his corps will provide him with a useful command span).  He leaves 10,000 men with A Hill which is the maximum amount of troops you can have, but still stay in the least risk column of requiring supply if you are in combat.

The new supply train is sent to Breckinridge and Smith then sets about pulling up rails to repair the line to Petersburg.

The small division in Wilmington is pulled out.  It's 3,000 men are needed elsewhere.

The rest of the Confederate generals stay put, waiting to see what the Union do.

Farragut assembles the Union river fleet at Cairo.  While on the east coast Porter takes an ironclad up the Appomattox River and destroys bridges linking Petersburg.

McClellan is ordered to join McPherson in Charlottesville.  All other Union maneuvers are going to be down to initiative.

Meade gets the rail repair unit moving, sends reinforcements to Lyon and then moves to Culpepper.

Lyon does nothing, although the Richmond Chronicle writes this up as "Lyon crouched in wait".  This leads to the paper's editor being arrested for displaying "negativity to the cause".

Hooker scouts about, waiting for Halleck to join him.

Pope stirs, but has nothing to do.  He finally twigs that he should go back east.

Grant goes up the Tennessee to be opposite Pittsburgh Landing, leaving Crittenden to watch Jackson.

There are no attacks, although the Union have identified many targets.

Week 74

The Union get the 5 chit.

Buell is ordered back to Union City.  Farragut takes his massive fleet down to Pittsburgh Landing and blasts the Confederate garrison to smithereens.  The supply train and 10,000 men are railed to Waverly from Bowling Green (which conveniently has two rail lines out to the Tennessee at that location).

In the east a 4,000 man strong division is ordered from the mountains to Staunton.  McClernand is then given a job to collect dispersed troops as well as to reinforce McClellan.

Meade gets ready to attack.  Lyon pushes up the York River.

Halleck seizes the initiative and crosses the Chattahoochee, joins Hooker and together they march on Columbus, GA.

Grant crosses the Tennessee and occupies the devastated fort at Pittsburgh Landing.  Sumner moves to Ironton, MO, where there are 4,000 militia that could be put to use elsewhere.

Meade fails to attack, but McPherson does.  His part of the Army of the Potomac engages the part of the Army of the Atlantic lead by the newly arrived Wheeler (who matches McPherson).  The combat is on the 131-160 column of CRT 3.  The Union use supply and inflict 10% casualties on the Confederates.  Both sides lose 3,000 men.  McPherson's hat was shot off his head and he was knocked from his horse, but he got up, brushed himself down and lives to fight another day.

The Confederates take a gamble and order Beauregard to hold his position.  He sends Wheeler and the cavalry to hold his left flank (it's a bit convoluted as Wheeler can't yet command the vacant cavalry corps HQ).  Smith and the Army of Virginia set to repairing bridges near Richmond.

In the West Jackson pulls back.

The Thin Grey Line

In the West the Union finally made some progress.

In the South neither side can do much, but the advantage is with the Union.

Week 75

The Union get the 5 chit again.

Franklin is activated to send reinforcements to Lyon and a supply train and 7,000 infantry are dispatched and safely arrive.  McClernand is ordered to redeploy troops to replace those sent by Franklin to Lyon, repair the railway to Leesburg (it's the thought that counts), send troops back to Baltimore for future augmentation and then head to help Meade.

Banks is ordered to secure a crossing of the Alabama River (of little immediate benefit, but in the future, who knows?).

Farragut takes his fleet back to the  Mississippi.  Crittenden crosses over the Tennessee and Buell goes to meet him.  (This rendezvous being what Jackson was afraid of, but it happened much sooner than expected).

Sumner and McCook, although they could do stuff, do nought.  At least Halleck and Hooker are having a chat, trying to decide what to do next.

Grant goes to confront Jackson.

Pope sends reinforcements to Meade.

Lyon threatens Taylor with a march attack forcing him to fall back.

Meade doesn't attack, but McClellan does on the 401-900 column of CRT 1 against Wheeler and the Confederate cavalry.  Both sides lose 1,000 troopers.  Wheeler almost loses his hat.

Lyon attacks, but Taylor falls back again.  Lyon does not advance.

Grant doesn't attack.

The Confederates order Bragg back to Hanover Junction to protect Richmond and avoid getting cut off.  Cavalry is sent to block any Union incursions through the Wilderness.

Forrest is ordered to send reinforcements to Jackson.

Smith on his own initiative, repairs the railway at Petersburg.

The rest of the Confederacy stands firm.  Militia are raised in Fredericksburg, VA and Memphis, TN.

Week 76

The Union get the 2 chit.

I must admit I find it is very hard to know what to do with the Confederates.  Lots of generals, very few troops (although there are 40,000 infantry arriving next week).

Bruckner is ordered to Atlanta.  An empty corps is sent to Athens, GA, where it will collect some militia.  Everywhere else is eerily quiet.

Halleck orders Hooker to cut a rail line and then pull back to maintain supply.

Buell is order to go to Grant's aid and fight Jackson.

Sumner, Banks and McCook have a rest, but Grant gets busy using his cavalry to scout all around Jackson's army.

McClellan realises Wheeler no longer exerts a cavalry zone of control, but he does nothing.  McPherson wants to, but needs to get ready for an attack.

Lyon conducts a march attack on Fredericksburg, both sides lose 1,000 men.  But it's a disaster, Lyon's old wound reopens and he will be out of action for five months.

Meade again fails to attack, but McClellan does.  It is on the 900+ column of CRT 1.  The Confederate lose 1,000 troopers.  Wheeler retreats towards Lynchburg.  McClellan doesn't advance (he's at the limits of his supply lines).

Buell orders Grant to attack.  He does so on the 251-400 column of CRT 4.  The Union use 2 supply and Grant wins a stunning victory, inflicting 50% casualties on Jackson.  The Union lose 3,000 men (5%) and the Confederates 10,000.

Wheeler has 2,000 cavalry; Beauregard 23,000 men; Hill 11,000; Taylor 1,000 cavalry; Bragg (the incorrectly labeled Johnston counter) 22,000; Hindman has 18,000 in Richmond; and Smith has 4,000.  Total 75,000 men.

McClellan has 35,000 men; Meade 32,000; McClernand 36,000; Pope 4,000; Franklin 21,000 and Lyon's corps (the XVI or 16th) 17,000.  A total of 145,000 men.  Then there are all the scattered units...

In the South the numbers are in the Confederates' favour, 21,000 to 14,000, but they are dispersed covering a large area.

In the west the Union have massed 70,000 troops.  For the Confederates, Forrest has 14,000; there are 13,000 in Memphis and 10,000 remaining with Jackson.


Union lost 7,000 to the Confederates 22,000.


  1. Great AAR. Looking very tense for the rebels.

    1. Thanks.

      Tense is a good word. It is very tense deciding what should be done. It seems to be how long do they hang on to a location before deciding to retreat and avoid losses.

  2. It's looking all up for the Confederates.

    1. If it was just a game I would agree with you, but it is a simulation of the war. As a result the victory points get allocated for the historical timeline, so the Union are currently not in a good place as they do not have Memphis or New Orleans. Worse they need to "free the slaves". If they do that it will give the Confederates 5 Political Points which would then given them a 50% chance at declaring victory (which would represent the peace party taking control and/or a revolt against emancipation - all very real things based on my reading of the excellent Bruce Catton trilogy on the war).

      So there is still a lot of play in the game (although it might not be a whole lotta fun for the Confederates). The Union need to capture Memphis, New Orleans, Atlanta and Richmond to put an end to the rebellion and preserve the Union.

  3. The confederates do seem to need to take the defensive no action option. hard for such active fellows to do!

    1. Yes, it is agony playing the Confederates.

      I'm currently doing week 80, the last turn for 1862, and things have got worse - for both sides!